It Just Takes a Little Scotch Tape & Paper

This simple prototype is a reminder of how easy it can be to establish new routines and spaces in the classroom.

Photo of Margaret Powers
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During a recent design challenge I was facilitating, a team of teachers came up with a wonderful prototype to meet their users' needs. They heard that the students wanted to be able to follow their own curiosities at school and they decided to build a "Curiosity Studio" out of simple materials. The hope would be that this studio space could be rolled out (literally, unrolled from the ceiling) at different times in the day/week to provide a space where students could develop a routine around creative thinking, design work, and exploring their curiosities. 

They took brown paper and cut out windows/walls and hung them from the ceilings and lights. Inside this space they put two tables with boxes full of basic materials and prompts, as well as journals. When students came in to test their prototype, it was amazing how separate this one area of the classroom felt even though it was only separated from the rest of the room by some simple, hanging paper. 

Sometimes all it takes is some simple prototyping to discover that you can disrupt classroom norms and existing routines to create new spaces (and routines to go with them) right inside your existing environment.   


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Photo of Rolland Chidiac

Thank you Margaret! I will check out the link you have provided me with.

Photo of Rolland Chidiac

Do you have any artifacts (e.g. photos) of what the "windows" look like after students have had time to use them. I guess I would like to know more about what was done with them and what it looked like.

By the way, I didn't know that you were part of this experience but when I saw that you were I was very pleased. Love connecting with you here and on Twitter!

Photo of Margaret Powers

I'm excited to see you on the Guild and connect here as well!

Unfortunately that prototype was created during a workshop this summer so while we had student users come and give us feedback, they did not get to use the space beyond their feedback session (~30 minutes) so I don't have photos of what the windows looked like over time/student use.

I know some of the teachers in the group are planning to create something similar in their classrooms this year though because the student feedback was so positive and it was such a low-res/feasible/affordable way to create a new space inside an existing classroom. You can read more about it here:

Photo of Rolland Chidiac

Hey Margaret! I would love more information about this prototype. Do you have any other information?

Photo of Margaret Powers

Hi Rolland,
Sure, what additional information are you looking for?